“Degrassi: Showdown” Week Five — “Sabotage” and “Scream”

I don’t know about you all, but Degrassi has been tugging on my heartstrings this whole season, and this week was no exception! So many of the plotlines coincided this week, culminating in a dramatic lead-up to the school premiere of Romeo and Jules and one of my favorite Adam plotlines yet.

During “Sabotage,” Fiona’s apartment serves as the backdrop for a number of plotlines. In one, Drew upgrades her TV in order to impress Bianca, but what Bianca really wants is for him to go back to living with his mom and come back to high school.

After some encouragement from Fiona to get serious if he wants to be taken seriously, he lets her know he might move back in with his mom. Then he proposes to Bianca with a Happy Meal ring. Umm, that’s not quite what Fiona meant, Drew, but regardless, Bianca happily accepts.

In the other plotline, Eli ropes Fiona into hosting a surprise birthday party for Clare at her place to cheer her up after being fired from her internship, though Clare insists that she doesn’t feel much like celebrating.

Adam encourages Eli to get her a great gift, but the only thing he knows Clare wants is her internship not to have ended how it did. Eli, believing Clare was fired for not being a good enough journalist and not knowing that her mentor, Asher, sexually harassed her, decides to convince him to give her a second chance.

When Eli confronts Asher, however, the journalist informs Eli that Clare was fired because of her “obsession” with him. Eli shows up to the surprise party, upset by this misinformation and gearing up for a confrontation with Clare.

Wisely, Fiona advises him to wait until after her birthday to approach the topic, but, unable to keep a poker face, Eli ends up seeking out the truth from Clare anyway.

When the two of them rejoin the party, Dallas and the hockey guys, who have crashed the party, provoke Eli and Jake into a fight, which only ends when Imogen adorably sets off a confetti cannon.

In “Scream,” Clare decides to get revenge on Asher and initially, Eli promises to help her. As her plans get increasingly risky, he wavers. Imogen, seeing parallels to his romantic and impulsive behavior of the previous year, advises him not to be too much of a reckless Romeo for Clare – after all, Romeo ended up dead.

He prudently backs out to focus on the play, and in the end, Clare also backs away from her plot against Asher, choosing to report him to the police instead.

Meanwhile, Romeo and Jules finds itself at the heart of some school controversy.

Becky Baker, confident in her homophobia and furious with Eli for wresting control of the play from her earlier in the semester, decides to picket the play with her brother, Luke. Dallas, however, helps Becky see that such open homophobia will never fly at Degrassi. Angry with Eli for the fight the week before, he suggests another way to take down the play.

They get Becky and Luke’s parents to complain to the principal about the subject material, and he calls Eli into his office to walk the parents through their concerns and get clearance to continue with the show.

To win them over, Eli parallels the story of Romeo and Jules – and the gay twist in particular – with stories and morals from the Bible. As it turns out, though, Dallas convinced them to worry about the suicide message, not the presence of Jules. 

In order to rectify the message, Eli restages the final scene to end with the lovers separate even in death, a change that convinces the principal and parents that the play does not promote suicide.

Meanwhile, Adam spots Becky in class with the posters she made for the picket. “So I guess this means we’re not going to the play together?” he surmises.

“Did I not formally cancel?” Becky responds with false sweetness. “Where are my manners… At least I see no need to hide the fact that I’m a girl.”

Far more calmly than I would have been, Adam tells her bluntly, “I’m not a girl; I’m trans. And you’re a real piece of work.”

“Made perfectly by the hands of God,” she asserts, “as we all are. If you’d accept how God made you, you’d be happy.” Hmm, I don’t know what unhappy looks like to you, Becky, but it’s not Adam.

He coldly sasses back to her, “Jeez, I never thought of that.”

Becky turns to Jenna, who has been watching the whole conversation skeptically. “God made me brunette, but blondes have more fun,” Jenna jokes, pointing to her hair. Less than amused, Becky insists that she’s getting through to Adam.

As fate would have it, the teacher assigns Becky and Adam to work together on the week’s science project. Though Becky tries to talk her way out of it, the teacher scolds, “Like oil and vinegar, you may not mix easily, but you’ll make a delicious salad dressing.”

“Why do you care so much?” Jenna tries to understand when she finds Becky praying in the bathroom.

“I can’t work with someone who’s… like Adam,” Becky hedges, and a confused Jenna says she’s pretty sure it’s not a sin to do a project with him.

Becky’s real fear, though, is that she does care so much. After all, they nearly went on a date – what if she were to develop feelings for him, she worries. Though she uses the wrong pronouns and worries about being “turned gay,” it’s clear that accepting Adam as male and developing feelings for him would be equally terrifying for her.

She wishes she could just ignore him, but he’s so confused, she muses, that she can’t. Hmm, I think I spy someone else who might be confused… “God made us partners for a reason,” she insists. Yes, Becky, I hope he did.

Upon arriving at class, Becky tells Adam that she’s not crazy and that many other Christians around the world who share her beliefs. He surprises her with the information that he went to church as a kid, too – and he knows not all Christians share her homophobic and transphobic beliefs.

Then he dives right into the project. Well, kind of. The mollusk he pulls from his bag for the assignment is older than her God says the earth is. “But isn’t that kind of a metaphor?” Becky says, unbothered by this discrepancy. 

“So you’ll look past the Bible for a mollusk,” Adam questions, “but not when you see a play about two dudes in love?” Or, you know, when she sees him.

He informs her that the things she says make people think bullying is okay, justified even. Though she swears she’d never intentionally hurt him, he thinks it’d be better for them to do their pieces of the project separately.

On the day of the premiere of Romeo and Jules, the lead playing Jules, Tristan, goes missing.

Earlier in the episode, terrified of Dave’s Romeo being his first kiss, Tristan – who is openly gay – had sought out Fiona and Imogen for advice. Approaching them as they kissed sweetly at their lockers, he asked how they found each other.

“First you find someone with similar interests,” Fiona starts. “And then you become best friends,” Imogen takes over from her. “And then you feel that spark!” Fiona finishes. These ladies are very quick studies at this whole how-to-be-a-proper-lesbian thing.

So when Tristan finds an anonymous note and a flower on his locker, he follows its directions to try to get his kiss. Dallas and the hockey team are the ones behind it, though – led by Dallas’ desire for revenge on Eli and by Luke’s desire to shut down the play on behalf of his sister – and they lock Tristan in an abandoned room.

That evening, with Tristan still missing, Becky is wracked with feelings of guilt that her outspokenness against the play might have something to do with Tristan’s disappearance.

She offers to play Juliet so that the musical can at least go on. Eli, preferring to cancel than de-gay the play, says she can only go on for Tristan if she’s willing to play Jules.

As she waits in the wings as Jules, complete with a drawn-on mustache, Adam asks her, “You ready?”

“I was born ready,” she responds, “except I was born a girl.”

“Then you know how I feel,” he ventures.

Luckily, Tristan is found before the curtain goes up, and he’s rushed over to the theater just in time. “Would you have done it,” Adam says, coming up behind Becky as she watches the show from backstage, “as Jules, not as Juliet?”

“I’m still confused,” she answers honestly, “but I didn’t want to be responsible for ruining all of it.” Kindly, and because the moral of the story is pretty much always that Adam is the better man, he suggests she join the chorus for the final song.

As soon as the show ends, Adam spots Becky skipping out before the bows. She needs to get home to lie to her parents about where she was, she tells him, and then to pray for forgiveness – for the lying, she clarifies!

Before she goes, she thanks him for showing her a way to be a part of the play and then, in a moment rife with chemistry between the two of them, gives him a hug.

Well then! How about that summer season, huh? I, for one, am definitely looking forward to seeing what’s next for these characters and how these storylines continue in October, and hope to see you guys back here for the ride!